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Introduction - Bhutan:

BackgroundIn 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined Indias responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the governments draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. A referendum date has yet to be named, but should occur in 2008. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition.

Location - Bhutan:
LocationSouthern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map referencesAsia

Areatotal: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparativeabout half the size of Indiana

Land boundariestotal: 1,075 km
border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

Coastline0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)

Climatevaries; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrainmostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Elevation extremeslowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m

Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate

Land usearable land: 2.3%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 97.27% (2005)

Irrigated land400 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardsviolent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the countrys name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Environment current issuessoil erosion; limited access to potable water

Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography notelandlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

People - Bhutan:
note: the Factbook population estimate is inconsistent with the 2005 Bhutan census results; both data are being reviewed and when completed, the results will be posted on The World Factbook Web site (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook) later this year (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 38.6% (male 465,340/female 433,184)
15-64 years: 57.4% (male 688,428/female 647,134)
65 years and over: 4% (male 47,123/female 46,640) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 20.5 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 20.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate2.082% (2007 est.)

Birth rate33.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate12.46 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.074 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.064 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.066 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 96.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 94.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 98.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 55.17 years
male: 55.38 years
female: 54.96 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate4.67 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rateless than 0.1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsless than 100 (1999 est.)

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groupsBhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

ReligionsLamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

LanguagesDzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47%
male: 60%
female: 34% (2003 est.)

Government - Bhutan:
Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
conventional short form: Bhutan
local long form: Druk Gyalkhap
local short form: Druk Yul

Government typeabsolute monarchy; special treaty relationship with India; note - transition to a constitutional monarchy is expected in 2008

Capitalname: Thimphu
geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

Independence8 August 1949 (from India)

National holidayNational Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)

Constitutionnone; note - a draft constitution was unveiled in March 2005 and is expected to be adopted following the election of a new National Assembly in 2008

Legal systembased on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrageeach family has one vote in village-level elections

Executive branchchief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him
head of government: Prime Minister Kinzang DORJI (since August 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly is expected in 2008

Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Tshogdu (150 seats; 105 members elected from village constituencies, 10 represent religious bodies, and 35 are designated by the monarch to represent government and other secular interests; to serve three-year terms)
elections: first election to be held in 2008; note - local elections last held August 2005 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: NA

Judicial branchSupreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)

Political parties and leadersno legal parties

Political pressure groups and leadersBuddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community; United Front for Democracy (exiled)

International organization participationAsDB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the usnone; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular jurisdiction in the US; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; FAX [1] (212) 826-2998
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the usthe US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

Flag descriptiondivided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side

Economy - Bhutan:
Economy overviewThe economy, one of the worlds smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 60% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with Indias through strong trade and monetary links and dependence on Indias financial assistance. The industrial sector is technologically backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutans hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are key resources. Model education, social, and environment programs are underway with support from multilateral development organizations. Each economic program takes into account the governments desire to protect the countrys environment and cultural traditions. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

Gdp purchasing power parity $3.503 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $840.5 million (2005 est.)

Gdp real growth rate8.8% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $1,400 (2003 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 24.7%
industry: 37.2%
services: 38.1% (2005)

Labor forceNA
note: major shortage of skilled labor

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 63%
industry: 6%
services: 31% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate2.5% (2004)

Population below poverty line31.7% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices 5.5% (2005 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $272 million
expenditures: $350 million; including capital expenditures of $NA
note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutans budget expenditures (2005)

Public debt81.4% of GDP (2004)

Agriculture productsrice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs

Industriescement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

Industrial production growth rate9.3% (1996 est.)

Electricity production2.05 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption526.5 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports1.4 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports20 million kWh (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption1,160 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Exports$186 million f.o.b. (2005)

Exports commoditieselectricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones, spices

Exports partnersIndia 69.2%, Japan 9.1%, Germany 3.7% (2006)

Imports$410 million c.i.f. (2005)

Imports commoditiesfuel and lubricants, grain, aircraft, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice

Imports partnersIndia 75.3%, Hong Kong 16.1%, Mexico 4.9% (2006)

Debt external$593 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient$78 million; note - substantial aid from India (2004)

Currency code ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)

Exchange ratesngultrum per US dollar - 45.279 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003), 48.61 (2002)
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

Communications - Bhutan:
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June

Telephones main lines in use31,500 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular82,100 (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: telecommunications facilities are poor
domestic: very low teledensity; domestic service is very poor especially in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003
international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 (2005)

Radio broadcast stationsAM 0, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2006)

Television broadcast stations1 (2006)

Internet country code.bt

Internet hosts7,567 (2006)

Internet users30,000 (2006)

Transportation - Bhutan:
Airports2 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 8,050 km
paved: 4,991 km
unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)

Military - Bhutan:
Military branchesRoyal Bhutan Army: Royal Bodyguard, Royal Bhutan Police (2005)

Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 483,860
females age 18-49: 453,683 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 314,975
females age 18-49: 296,833 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 23,939
females age 18-49: 21,979 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp1% (2005 est.)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>